Phenotypic and functional characterisation of immune cell populations in ACPA+ vs ACPA- RA patients: Implications for treatment strategies

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common inflammatory arthritis affecting 1-2% of the population, with potentially debilitating effects impacting on quality of life and function. Targeted therapies inhibiting TNF have advanced RA treatment, however these treatments are expensive, placing further strain on an already overstretched health budget. Furthermore these therapies are only partially effective in some patients and a significant proportion of patients fail to respond. The specific focus of this project is to assess outcomes in specific groups of patients defined by the presence of autoantibodies in the blood and x-ray changes and to establish the link between severity of arthritis and response to treatment. We will then examine the functional role of immune cells obtained from antibody positive and negative patients and their subsequent effect on synovial invasive mechanisms. Finally, a computational biology approach will provide valuable insight into the diagnosis and prognosis of patients with RA at an earlier stage of disease than is currently possible and this will allow selection of treatment for specific patients based on a sound, scientific rationale.

Award Date
30 June 2017
Award Value
€325,958
Principal Investigator
Professor Ursula Fearon
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin
Scheme
Investigator Led Projects